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126 items found for "Traditional"

  • Baked Ziti

    As mentioned in Day 67 of The Challenge This was a pre-night shift dinner for me by my husband and went over very well with all of us, including Little One who has started making definite preferences known. It is a bit of a multi-step process, but so worth it! Warm and filling, it is the ultimate comfort food. Ingredients: 2 eggs 500 g of ziti, penne or other tubular pasta 1 head of garlic, crushed 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tins (800g) tomatoes 2 c (800g) of cottage cheese 600g mozzarella, shredded 1 c milk 1 tsp sugar 2 tsp basil 2 tsp oregano 3/4 tsp cornstarch 1/2 c red cooking wine Salt and pepper to taste 1) Heat olive oil with garlic in a heavy bottomed sauce pan, allowing the garlic to infuse gently. Add tomatoes and wine and bring to a simmer. Add basil and oregano. 2) Once the sauce has thickened, add the sugar. 3) Beat eggs, and add cottage cheese and half the mozzarella to them, whisking again. 4) Cook pasta 3/4 of the way there - it still must have some bite to it as it will continue cooking in the oven! Put in a casserole dish and set aside. 5) In a saucepan, combine cornstarch and milk, stirring and heating slowly until they thicken, then remove from the heat. 6) Add the cottage cheese mixture and 1 c of tomato sauce to the milk mix. Add this resulting triple mix to the pasta and stir well to coat all of those little tubes in gooey goodness. 7) Mix remaining tomato sauce with the pasta gooey-ness, and stir in the mozzarella to melt through. 8) Bake at 180°C for 45 minutes until the top is golden (and has a few crispy bits as these are amazing!) So tasty, and almost better as leftovers. I definitely recommend this. Hubby's been promising/threatening to make this for years, and never having even heard of this until he mentioned it, I had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least, and (after the challenge) this will be making it into regular rotation!

  • Cinnamon and Sahlep Macarons

    Having decided a while back to start experimenting with using sahlep, I started playing around with different flavour combinations and potential recipes in which to try it out (like my Sahlep Pancakes, or my Sahlep Custard). A particularly good flavour to match with sahlep, in my opinion, is cinnamon, so while I do have other flavour combinations in mind to try, many of my ideas pair up sahlep and cinnamon. I am not sure where the idea of trying macarons came from, but it has been kind of present in the back of my mind for months. Sahlep is a hot drink made from ground orchid tubers in warm milk, often with cinnamon too. It has been drunk since Roman times at least, and Paracelsus even wrote about it, considering it to be a strong aphrodisiac. I have no knowledge of any such properties but have always really enjoyed it as a special treat. Today it is still drunk across Turkey and Greece. Sometimes it comes in the form of pure orchid root, and sometimes it is mixed with powdered milk. It is the latter variety that I am able to find here. I tried a first iteration of this recipe with my sister when she was visiting after Littler Bit's birth, and we were delighted with it. The recipe seemed good, but our macarons fell down on execution. It was her first-ever try at making macarons and my second, so seeing as they are notoriously difficult, I don't feel too bad about it. They were tasty but came out flat and gooey inside, and had to be scraped from the silicone baking mat. We figured we had either over-beaten the egg whites or under-baked the cookies. In that first iteration, I also trialled using a small amount of cooled sahlep cooked in milk in the buttercream filling to give the sahlep flavour, but found that the filling was too goopy and didn't come out right. For this next trial, therefore, I tried making sahlep butter ahead of time, allowing it to cool, then softening it to make the buttercream filling. This time, while my execution is still not perfect, it is getting better, and the finished product is not too far off the mark, and oh so good! Recipe Cook time: 1.5 hours -- Portions: 20 cookies -- Difficulty: Medium/hard Ingredients: For the cookie portion: 3 egg whites a pinch of salt 1 c ground almonds - blitz finer if need be. Must be very fine! 1/2 c maple or light brown sugar 2 - 2 1/2 tsp (generous!) of cinnamon For the buttercream filling: 1/3c butter 2 1/2 tsp sahlep 1/3 c maple powdered sugar (or you can use light brown sugar, but blitz it so the granules don't crunch!) 1) For the buttercream filling, melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Stir in the sahlep and cook for a few minutes, stirring to incorporate. Cool completely and set aside. 2) Place egg whites and salt in a very clean, dry bowl. Whisk until you achieve a thick foam - just shy of soft peaks. Add the maple or brown sugar and beat until you achieved a thick, stiff consistency. 3) In a separate bowl, sift the powdered sugar, ground almonds, and cinnamon. Fold into egg whites. 4) Pipe in circles 2.5 - 4 cm in diameter onto baking paper, and place on a double baking sheet. Bake at 160°C for 8-10 minutes, then allow to cool completely on a wire rack. 5) In the meantime, back to the buttercream. Cream sugar into sahlep butter. Spread or pipe on one-half of the macarons, and then sandwich with a second one. Enjoy! I am very pleased with these! I wasn't at all sure how the sahlep butter would go, and I am very pleased with how it worked out. I have never used sahlep raw and so wasn't sure how it would go if I just added it cold (although apparently it can be consumed raw and is used as an ingredient in things like ice cream which aren't cooked - by the by, that is an excellent idea. Sahlep ice cream!). I do think that the sahlep flavour was a little strong in the final butter ( I thought the opposite was more likely to be the case), so I would reduce it to 1 1/2 to 2 tsp of sahlep for the butter next time. I would also increase the cinnamon content a little, maybe to a full (generous) tbsp rather than sticking with tsp measures. Aside from that though, I am very happy! The larger ones collapsed a little at the end of baking, and I am not sure why. My technique still needs some practice. They still weren't flat though, or too gooey in the centre, so I am not going to quibble. They could just have been a little taller and firmer. They also had a little border... I have seen quite different cooking times in other recipes, from 7 to 25 minutes, so I'm not sure if maybe I should be leaving them in for longer. Maybe my batter wasn't firm enough? Hard to tell. I was just so wary of over-beating like last time... More experimentation and trial are still necessary in this particular domain! Little Bit and Hubby definitely didn't mind. They very happily dug in and hoovered up a bunch before supper. ("Mama, I want a macaron. I am going to steal one. Not waiting until it's cool!" on repeat from a certain someone....) The base recipe for this, before much alteration, came from Michel Roux's Eggs. It is, surprisingly for being centred on one simple ingredient, an excellent cookbook. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

  • Homemade Mustard

    After delving into making my own versions of mayo and ketchup, I figured it was time to start making my own mustard too. After reading a few different methods and about mustard making generally, I decided to give it a shot. At its root, making mustard requires mixing ground mustard seeds with water. The colder the water, the sharper the mustard will be. Allowing the mixture to chill in the fridge overnight is supposed to do away with the bitterness from the mustard seeds. That's it. Anything else is extra, and all down to personal choice and flavouring. Here's what I did. I opted for warmish water as Little Bit really likes mustard but not if it's too strong. I made two different flavours: mix spice and orange tarragon. Ingredients. 2 c yellow mustard seeds 3/4 c warmish water 1/2 c apple cider vinegar 2 tsp olive oil salt to taste For the mix spice variant: 1 tsp mix spice a pinch of brown or maple sugar For the orange tarragon variant: 1 tsp dried orange peel 1 1/2 tsp dried tarragon 1) Coaresly crack about 3/4 c mustard seeds. Set aside. More finely grind the remaining mustard seeds. How finely ground these are and how many are left coarser will affect the final texture of your mustard. Combine all the mustard in a bowl. Add salt and water. Stir. Add vinegar and olive oil, then refrigerate overnight. 2) Check the texture of the mustard and taste test. Add a little more water or vinegar as necessary. Then divide the mixture in half and add the remaining ingredients for each variant to one-half of the mustard. Allow to sit overnight again for flavours to develop. 3) Taste test and serve. To test these out, I made Clair Saffitz's brioche pigs in a blanket, along with a fresh batch of Beetroot Ketchup and some rosehip vinegar mayo. I was thoroughly pleased with these two mustards, and delighted to have finally gotten around to making my own. I can't believe how easy it was! I even got help grinding up my seeds in the mortar and pestle from Little Bit, who was very proud to have helped. The whole time I was making these, I was thinking of my grandmother who passed three years ago. Ahe loved mustard and took great delight in finding and trying new flavours and varieties. This is something we had talked about doing together but never got to. To try making your own, order mustard seeds for yourself here, and if you need a mortar and pestle for it, click here.

  • Home-Made Yogurt

    This one is half cheese journey and half recipe. I was asked for it by a colleague though, so here it is. Yogurt making is not massively new to me. I have done it a few times, and have enjoyed trying out different starter yogurts and seeing the effect different ones have on the final yogurt. It is very easy to do an the result is satisfying. If the yogurt is not as thick as you'd like, simply strain it. Then you have yogurt as well as whey to use. The key to this as far as I am concerned, is to use a good quality milk. Mine was quite thick, with an almost flan-like consistency, but we strained it a little anyway. Ingredients: 2 l milk 3/4 - 1 c yogurt with active cultures 1) Place milk in a saucepan and heat over medium until it is warm but not too hot. You should be able to dip your pinky finger in and leave it for a count of 10 without being uncomfortable. 2) Add the yogurt to the milk and stir. Cover the saucepan and place in a warm spot to ripen over night or longer. A spot in the sun, by the fire or by a radiator are great. I usually put mine in my Wonderbag cloth oven as it maintains the temperature over a long period without using any energy and without risk. 3) Strain as needed. I particularly like home-made yogurt for dishes like borani where the flavour of the yogurt itself is key. Depending on the starter yogurt used the end-yogurt may be more acidic or sweeter. Play around with it and figure out which you like best!

  • Ricotta Gnocchi with a Pumpkin Sauce

    My second attempt at making my own ricotta went well, but I scalded it a little (Little Bit waking up at a crucial moment was not part of the plan!) The scalding actually gave the ricotta an interesting caramelised flavour though. The plan had been to make ricotta gnocchi with it, so I went ahead with that but decided to use the caramelised flavour and have a slightly sweeter, more robust sauce to stand up to the ricotta. I made a pumpkin sauce with a little red wine and balsamic, caramelising the onions first. Using my own home made ricotta for this also had the advantage of allowing me to drain it in its little basket for a couple of days so that it was nice and firm to start making the gnocchi. I must say, it came out nicely! Ingredients: For the gnocchi: 1 c ricotta 1 egg 1 c grated aged cheese (eg parmesan) 1 - 1 1/4 c flour 1/2 c cornmeal, and extra for sprinkling Pepper For the sauce: 3 onions, sliced fine 1/2 head of garlic, crushed 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp sage, crushed 1/2 sweet potato, grated 2 c roasted pumpkin (I pulled mine from the freezer stash of pumpkin I put aside when it was in season) 1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 3/4 - 1 c red cooking wine 2 c water salt to taste 1) Place flour and cornmeal in a bowl and form a well. Crack eggs into well and add ricotta. Mix to form a dough, adding a little extra flour if it is too wet. Mix in the cheese and pepper. 2) Cut the dough into quarters and then roll these into long snakes. Cut the snakes obliquely every 1 cm or so to form the little pillowy gnocchi, then toss these in a little cornmeal to coat them (this absorbs excess moisture from the outside and gives them a little bite). Leave to rest while you make the sauce. 3) Heat oil in a pan. Sauté onions, sage and garlic over medium-low heat to sweat them. Add the sweet potato and pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Add the balsamic and wine and bring to a simmer. Add the pumpkin and break it up. At this point, the sauce should be quite thick, but coming together nicely in terms of the flavours. 4) Add the water and salt to taste and bring to a simmer. Add the gnocchi and cook for a further 5 minutes, until the gnocchi are tender but firm, not mushy. Serve, with a little more grated cheese over the top, optionally. I loved this dish! I wasn't sure until I started exactly what I was going to do with it, and then had my doubts mid-way in, but it was tasty, with nicely layered flavours without being heavy. It had some creaminess, and some tang, and some sweetness, and some umami. Overall a well balanced dish, in my opinion.

  • Barley Flour and Chocolate Shortbread

    After making my Yellow Carrot Tart with the barley flour crust, I started thinking. That crust base was unique, with a bit more bite and a bit more sweetness to it than regular crust. At some point when nursing in the middle of the night (sometimes that's when the best ideas happen, the problem is holding onto them in the morning) it occurred to me that the crust modified slightly would work nicely for shortbread. After thinking of it it kept niggling me until I tried it. So I did. It also dawned on my while making them that if I can get the barley flour fine enough, barley, with less gluten than regular flour, is a great replacement as in shortbread everything is done to prevent gluten chain formation (soft butter, no kneading). Starting with something even less likely to do that has the potential for even crumblier, tenderer biscuits. Ingredients: 2/3 c barley flour 2/3c flour 1/2 c butter, very soft 1/4c sugar 1/3 c dark chocolate chips 1) Place flours and butter in a bowl and mix until smooth. Add sugar and chocolate chips. Mix. Press together into a dough. Do NOT knead. 2) Turn out onto a clean surface and roll out to about 1 - 1.5 cm thick and cut into rounds of the desired thickness. Place rounds on a cookie sheet with wax paper and chill 20 minutes. 3) Bake at 190°C for 15-20 minutes until golden. These were very tasty and the flavours came together as I had hoped. The biscuits could have been a little thicker though. Also, in terms of the texture, these didn't melt in your mouth the way regular shortbread cookies do. I need to grind the barley flour a little finer next time as it had too much bite, but otherwise, I am delighted with these!

  • Cranberry Sauce

    Cranberry sauce is a must for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, to my mind anyway, and also very tasty alongside all sorts of other meals, so I was delighted to find whole packs of cranberries available in the store. For our Big Feast, we, therefore, used these to make cranberry sauce. It is only in recent years that these are available here, so it is still quite a delightful novelty to be able to do this at all. Ever so simple, it is worth making your own! Ingredients: 3 c cranberries 1/2 - 1 c sugar 1 tbsp orange zest Juice of 1 orange 1 tbsp ginger, grated 1) (Optional: cut cranberries in half). Place in a saucepan, add enough water to cover, and add other ingredients. Simmer, stirring regularly and with increasing frequency as it thickens, until the sauce has reached desired consistency to desired consistency. Taste test and adjust sugar or orange according to your taste. Serve with extra grated zest. This was very tasty with the original Ham Feast, but then also with multiple other meals, such as a chestnut risotto, or a bacon roly-poly. Having it on hand was truly delightful, but unfortunately, it ran out in under a week... I may need to make more.

  • Devilled Eggs

    As with the Honey and Cinnamon Scones, these were for an Afternoon Tea collaboration I was invited to take part in on Instagram for International Tea day on the 21st of May. Devilled eggs are simple and tasty, but a lot of people seem daunted by the idea of making them, so I thought it worth including a recipe here. I used my dad's Scotch bonnet hot sauce to devil the eggs, but beyond a bit of a kick, left them pretty mild so Little Bit could have some too. Along with fruit, he is an egg fiend. Ingredients: 6 eggs 1 - 1 1/2 tbsp mayo 2 tsp mustard 1 -2 tsp hot sauce (or more to suit your taste) Salt and pepper to taste Tandoori powder for sprinkling 1) Boil the eggs for 9-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and run under cold water then let them sit in it until cool. 2) Peel the eggs carefully, halve them and pop out the yolks. In a bowl, mash all the yolks together with the other ingredients except tandoori powder. Taste test. 3) Spoon or pipe the yolks back into their wells in the whites. Sprinkle them with tandoori powder. I hadn't had devilled eggs in ages, and was delighted to have some again! I really should entertain more often (pandemics allowing) in order to make these more! Or maybe just have tea time at home with my boys and make these for us...

  • Panna Cotta with a Lemon Rind Drizzle

    I started out by trying to make candied lemon rind in the same way that I've been making candied orange peel. I used a little more sugar to simmer the lemon rind though to counteract its' being slightly more bitter than orange peel. When I went to cool and then drain the peels (setting aside the syrup for some other use), I discovered that they should be kept together, rind in syrup rather than just drying the rinds. The combination was really tasty! It was not too sweet nor too bitter, had a strong lemon flavour and the peels had a nice tooth to them without being in the least bit tough. Trying a spoonful, I decided to set it all aside as it was and make panna cotta to have with it. We did that this weekend, and the combination was too good not to share. Ingredients: For the Lemon rind in syrup: Rind of 2 lemons, all flesh removed and sliced into strips 1/2 c sugar (approx) Water (approx 2-3 c) For the panna cotta: 500ml cream 1/4 c sugar (approx. - adjust to suit your own tastes though) 40g gelatine (I used the granulated kind, but check the packet instructions for the one you use) 1 tsp vanilla 1) Place the lemon rind and sugar in a saucepan with enough water to cover them to twice their depth. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes, until the rinds are tender and the liquid is reduced to syrup. Cool and set aside. You can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge in a sealed jar. 2) Place cream and vanilla in a saucepan and heat gently until it reaches a simmer. Stir in the gelatine and sugar (if using gelatine sheets, don't forget to soak these first). Taste test for sweetness and vanilla. 3) Pour into small pots or ramequins and chill for at least a couple of hours or overnight. To serve, spoon the lemon peels and syrup over the panna cotta. I absolutely loved this dessert. The tart peels played off the creaminess really well, and none of it was overly sweet. My only problem was with the gelatine. It caused the panna cotta to be slightly grainy, and it is not the first time I've had this issue with the granulated kind. It didn't happen with the Lemongrass Panna Cotta but did a previous time. I don't know why it does this, whether it is simmer time or something else. On the whole, I prefer the sheets and have since picked some up for next time. Book Pairing: I was listening to China Miéville's Embassytown when I made these. Miéville's novels are delightfully strange. This one centred around language and its effects on thought patterns and ways of knowing the world around us. One race of beings represented can only speak Truth and can only conceive of what they have words for. Through the plot, the differences in language and the way it is used were interestingly explored. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, although the reader was a little irritating. Certain concepts are described using an existing German word which was surprising. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

  • Easy Paella

    Traditionally, one would use short grain Spanish rice, often marketed as paella rice.

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